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Floor-to-ceiling galactic murals join a bar top slathered in space-age illustrations at Astro Beer Hall.
Farrah Skeiky

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Shirlington Scores a Cosmic Playground for Beer, Fried Chicken, and Arcade Games

All-day Astro Beer Hall and coffee shop blasts off into Arlington on Tuesday, September 19

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The latest Astro Beer Hall goes big on its astronaut theme, bringing “Launchpad” espresso martinis, arcade favorites like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, and a doughnut-making robot to Arlington.

Fried chicken and waffles at Astro Beer Hall.
Farrah Skeiky

The Village at Shirlington’s new 14,000-square-foot destination for beer, doughnut, and fried chicken (4001 Campbell Avenue) is a collaboration between between the owners of Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken and Tin Shop (the bar minds behind Penn Social, Highline RxR, Franklin Hall, Clubhouse, and TallBoy).

The anticipated follow-up of the 4-year-old original in downtown D.C. opens on Tuesday, September 19 with a to-go counter serving decadent doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, and freshly brewed Compass Coffee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. An adjoining beer hall does dine-in service for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, with weekend brunch dropping in a few weeks. A 140-seat patio claiming to be the largest in Shirlington can swing open to the interior via 18-foot rolling doors.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken chef Chris Kujala sends out a familiar lineup of hot chicken sandwiches, cheesesteaks, and pimento cheese dip and biscuits, joined by an expanded bar menu full of deviled eggs, fried pickles, loaded tots, and more. Nine types of fried-to-order cake doughnuts are made by a robot that’s visible from the street.

Astro Beer Hall brings Shirlington made-to-order doughnuts.
Scott Suchman
The Astronomic burger tops a pair of Pat LaFrieda beef patties with pimento cheese, fried onions, smoked bacon, pickled jalapenos, and hickory barbecue sauce.
Farrah Skeiky

Along with 20 large-screen TVs airing all sorts of sporting events, diners can entertain themselves over Skee-ball, Asteroids, Ms. Pacman, and Pop-A-Shot basketball. A basement pool hall will arrive in the coming months.

One corner is dedicated to blinking arcade games.
Farrah Skeiky
The 140-seat patio at Astro Beer Hall.
Farrah Skeiky

Astro Beer Hall’s underlying cosmic theme also makes its way onto the menu. New additions include a hefty “Astronomic” burger and “Satellite Sampler Tower” featuring loaded fries, deviled eggs, fried mac and cheese, chicken fingers and wings, cheeseburger sliders, and fried pickles.

Other highlights include an “Astro Shot” — a Nutella-coated yeasted doughnut filled with a shot of Compass Coffee espresso and steamed milk — and a Buffalo chicken and Belgian waffle sandwich served with a fried egg and honey butter. Weekends call for homemade Brioche cinnamon rolls slathered with a cream cheese glaze.

Behind the bar, 24 tap lines pour brews from local and independently-owned breweries. Cocktails include a cinnamon-spiced Launchpad espresso martini, a rum-spiked Rocket Queen with pineapple and mint, an Apollo Paloma, and two frozen flavors at a time. Weekday happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) shaves $2 off beers and cocktails.

Astro Beer Hall’s second location expands its menu with burgers, bar fare, and over-the-top fried chicken concoctions.
Farrah Skeiky
The new Astro Beer Hall doubles as a gamer’s paradise.
Farrah Skeiky
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